If you’re contemplating plastic surgery to change something on your face or body, perhaps a breast augmentation, facelift or liposuction, you do so because you have a desire to look better. What you might not know is that you are likely to not only look better but feel better about yourself afterwards.
Australia’s Association for Psychological Science shared a study that reveals that there are several positive psychological benefits of aesthetic surgery. While some of them are obvious, like a rise in self-esteem and self-confidence, some others include a decrease in social anxiety (especially true for those with facial surgery such as an eyelid lift or facelift), as well as improvement in life satisfaction and mood as well as an increased commitment to physical health.
An important point is that these psychological benefits are directly linked to post-surgery expectations. For example, even as a highly skilled plastic surgeon, I cannot make a 60-year-old look 20 again; if that is the expectation that my patient has, he or she will, unfortunately, be disappointed. It is my goal to help my Long Island plastic surgery patients to know their expected outcome—i.e., what can and cannot be done. By doing this, I both increase my patient’s knowledge of the procedure and confirm or reform their expectations.
Are there ever negative psychological results after plastic cosmetic surgery? Sometimes. These include the lack of realistic outcomes as well as dissatisfaction with aesthetic surgery that was persuaded by another person, such as a spouse or partner. I always discourage my patients from a procedure that is done to please someone other than themselves. It’s important that, whatever procedure or treatment that is chosen (even minor things like injections of Dysport or dermal fillers, etc), the decision to have that procedure or treatment must come from my patient’s personal desires, not from outside pressure. Obviously, someone with a history of depression, body dysmorphic disorder or other psychological problem is less likely to be happy after cosmetic plastic surgery because even if it addresses their physical concerns it won’t solve their psychological ones.
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Predictors of cosmetic surgery and its effects on psychological factors and mental health: a population-based follow-up study among Norwegian females